American English Conversation: Lesson 103

DIRECTIONS: Read the dialogues below in English, then translate them and read them in your primary language (if needed). You’re encouraged to read these dialogues with your teacher, tutor, colleagues, family, and friends to practice and improve your American English even further.

Topic: Using a Credit Card

Dialogue 1

Sophie: Hey, Lucy. Do you use credit cards?
Lucy: Yeah, I do.
Sophie: What’s your experience been like? Is it safe to use them?
Lucy: Yeah, as long as you’re careful and keep track of your expenses. It can be tempting to overspend with a high limit, but you must remember that you’ll have to pay back the money with interest.
Sophie: Interest? How does that work?
Lucy: If you don’t pay off your monthly balance, you’ll pay more interest charges. The amount of interest depends on your credit rating. If you have good credit, you might get a lower rate than someone with poor credit.
Sophie: Oh, I see. So, how often do you make payments?
Lucy: I prefer to make monthly payments to keep track of my expenses and ensure I don’t spend more than I can afford to pay back.
Sophie: That’s smart. Can you use your credit card for anything?
Lucy: You can use it almost anywhere nowadays, but some places might have restrictions on what kind of credit cards they accept. Also, depending on your credit limit, there might be a cap on how much you can spend in one transaction.
Sophie: Thanks for explaining this to me, Lucy. Maybe I’ll look into getting a credit card myself soon.
Lucy: Sure thing! Just remember to be responsible with your spending.

Dialogue 2

Lauren: Hey, Ben! You were planning to buy a new laptop.
Ben: Yeah, but I don’t have enough cash on hand. Why do you ask?
Lauren: Have you thought about using your credit card instead?
Ben: I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. My credit rating is already pretty low.
Lauren: That might be true, but if you use your credit card responsibly – meaning paying off the balance in full every month- it can help improve your credit score.
Ben: Really? How does that work?
Lauren: Well, when you make monthly payments on time, your credit card company reports that positive activity to credit bureaus like Experian or TransUnion. This increases your creditworthiness over time.
Ben: Hmm, interesting. But what about interest? Won’t I end up paying more than the actual cost of the laptop?
Lauren: Not necessarily. Credit cards come with different rates of interest. Some offer 0% APR for an introductory period. If you choose one of those and pay the balance before the period ends, you won’t accrue any additional interest beyond the laptop’s price.
Ben: Okay, that makes sense. And how much would my monthly payments be?
Lauren: It depends on your current outstanding balances and income level. But most credit card companies let you set your minimum payment—keep in mind that paying only the minimum will slow down your payoff schedule and add interest charges to the total amount owed over time.
Ben: Gotcha. Thanks for explaining all this, Lauren; it sounds like great advice.

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